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One Game At A Time

Sports 2012: Time for action based on reflection

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I get a kick out of the first week of every new year.

There’s a bubbling enthusiasm to hit the ground running as soon as business resumes. After all the partying, eating and reconnecting with family and friends, you want to get back to work. After all, you’ve used up most of your Christmas bonus and re-abused your credit card. It’s time to earn a living again.

Go into any coffee shop for instance. You’ll see loud-mouthed males barking into their cell phones about deals real and imagined. Women are busy readjusting the home or office budgets. Students who messed up the first part of the school year are frantically catching up on readings or punching out deep thoughts on laptops for papers that should have been done two weeks ago.

It’s all part of the joyful ride called life. We never really can stay in step. We just do the best we can to catch up with the goals and the targets we want to reach. We hope that the buoyant spirit of the New Year will rev up our own enthusiasm.

For Philippine sports, instead of simply jumping into making changes or reforms while the year is bright and new, it might be a viable option to take stock of where we are and where we want to go this year. 2012 is another Olympic year and from the looks of reports during the holidays we should expect a lean Philippine team going to London. Lean does not necessarily connote that the team is a mean machine. It simply means we will have very few chances to go for medals against the very best of the world.

There are already reports that the PSC is looking at prioritizing its support for medal-rich events and those sports where we can truly excel. There is also a pitch to have more training centers in key cities in the country. These are all good moves in the right direction and it is our fervent hope that these initiatives bear fruit in the future.

We also hope to see more sports outside of basketball and boxing getting corporate support and valuable TV exposure. We are in dire need of new heroes and stars to be exposed on television. I gather that many athletes get to be known basically through the social networks. We hope that our TV producers create more portraits of our athletes even if the cost of producing these are quite high nowadays in this era of horrendous traffic.

We also hope that the good vibes of the new year rub off on sports associations that have turf wars and difficulties setting aside personal differences. The so-called “politics” in sports also comes as a result of well-meaning individuals who are passionate about their disciplines but have no real management or marketing skills to improve their sports.

Conflict is often at its worst in volunteer groups like church organizations, NGOs, student activities, homeowner associations or alumni groups because most of these endeavors are voluntary efforts. Sports associations are often no different unless they are anchored on a management by objectives structure. A deft merging of volunteerism and sound management principles can help establish a productive sports association.

Let us hope that the happy spirit of the New Year gives us a chance to reflect and determine what best we can do for the state of sports in our country. Happy sporting New Year!


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